Dawn Stefanowicz Speaks


Lots of people know about Zach Wahls, whose two lesbians parents seem to have done a fine job raising him, by his own account. How many people know the experience of Dawn Stefanowicz? We don't know how the average child raised by a same-sex couple or gay parent fares, yet. Do we care? Or would we just like to demonize researchers and people who disrupt the nice-nicey images we are always given?

Dawn gave this interview to the Catholic World Report last month:

CWR: One thing you stress is that you didn’t observe a monogamous relationship in your home when growing up.

D.S.: "...When I was growing up, I wasn’t surrounded by average heterosexual couples. In my home there would be my father’s partners and male friends, and they would often take me along to meeting places in the GLBT community. I was just a child, but I was exposed to overt sexual activity. When I was about nine, for example, my father took me to a downtown sex shop. He said he wanted to expose me to sexuality so that I wouldn’t be prudish. There was no sense of privacy around sexuality. Sex was very public; that was part of the gay culture."


  1. MrRoivas
    Posted July 21, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    I know of a straight couple that didn't do everything right with their kids. That of course means all straight marriages should be banned everywhere.

  2. QueerNE
    Posted July 21, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    I guess it's a good thing Dawn is the emperor of all children of gay people, and his word represents them all.

  3. EvolveAlready
    Posted July 21, 2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Wow, same results from the bogus-study you're so eager to champion:

    Bad parents produce messed up kids.


  4. Good News
    Posted July 21, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Same sex adults can raise a child well. So what. And what's news. That is not the question. Its a diversion.

    1) Do we as a society want to educate our children in the general knowledge that babies do not come from the man-woman union, but rather from money and state controlled technologies?
    2) And do we want to do this while at the same time denying that the man-woman united entity is unique and original; enough so that it must (in justice) be given a word to name itself in order that it might be clearly signaled out within the society? Not naming, and not allowing the society to express in a name, this union is an injustice to parents, growing children, reality and reason.
    3) Do we want to let the free market system (libertarianism, unrestrained capitalism and the like) have complete liberty to develop a commercial market around the making of babies? Allowing them to educate and commercially entice a whole society into becoming customers for their merchandise. And this after they have eliminated any psychological competition – which would have been the named man-woman union? (We're in the process of a real corporate takeover.)

    Children born into same-sex adult households are akin to adopted children. Only they will not even be offered the symbol of the thing that can independently and naturally create human life: the man-woman union and the mother and father.

    No matter what new technologies will develop. The male and the female human-being will always remain an incomplete human-species, until it joins in committed union to the organs (and psychology) that are not part of its own sex. And in so doing finely obtaining all the possibilities and complexities of the human-species in its completed form. A child growing under an incomplete human-species cannot but be aware of it, sooner or later.
    A man or woman who is not united to the opposite sex remains an “immature” human-species. One that is still in the process of growing. It remains “unfinished”.
    Also, biological offspring are natural fruits of the “matured”, and healthy, ONE-human-species. But they are also part and parcel of that ONE-human-species' continued growth and independence.

    (Note: as a human being can be missing limbs or organs, and so possibilities, without losing its true identity as a human-being, the same applies to the ONE-human-species, true marriage, whether or not there are children or missing organs in the marriage.)

    This ONE-human-species had the name of marriage given to it.
    And it is this ONE-human-species that will have to be renamed if the day comes when the word marriage can no longer clearly identify it.

  5. Reformed
    Posted July 21, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I should write a book about the physical and mental abuse in my christian family, and how it left me scared for life. No doubt, my experience represents the christian culture. I think it would do really well as we do have a scarcity of of anti propaganda and sterotypes.

    Could I get an advance on writing such a book?

  6. JeffreyRO5
    Posted July 21, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Actually we do know that gay parents do as well at raising children as straight parents. There have been dozens of studies done. And they were done properly, unlike Mr. Regnerus' opinion piece about same-sex parenting.

  7. LEO
    Posted July 21, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Good New said:
    "Same sex adults can raise a child well."
    How defines being raise well, is Dawn Stefanowicz ''s childhood experience define as being raised normal and well? NOT! Despite maybe not having to be part of welfare growing up, mentally who is this man, I mean really? Do we measure gay parenting by how well they pretend to act like heterosexuals, or how much money they have?
    So-call gay parenting will never be a substitute for the real thing, and the constant promotion of it is in error,,,

  8. Posted July 21, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Wow.. NOM has hit a new low. Who thought it was a good idea to build your cause off of harmful stereotypes?

    I'm glad we didn't use this logic in the past when granting rights to women, racial minorities, etc. Shame on NOM!

  9. Daughter of Eve
    Posted July 21, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Evan, those old straw men ate sure getting tired of the beatings... ;)

  10. Paul Mc
    Posted July 21, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Isnt it always the case that LbGt parents will on,y ever be a really small minority compared to straight families? Likewise, adopted and other forms?

    There seems to be an over the top disproportionate response to something that is not likely to determine what societies are actually like.

  11. Ash
    Posted July 21, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    If Zach Wahls can tell his story, Dawn Stephanowicz can tell hers.

    No stone should be left unturned when we’re talking about the glamorization and promotion of a new, alternative family structure, which necessarily involves state assignment of parental status to at least one of the caregivers, unlike Christian families, or Black families (re: commenters above).

    Everyone should be heard; and the research area should grow more and more comprehensive. Interestingly enough, Dawn says over 50 people raised in same-sex homes contacted her to express identification with her experiences. That would make her data acceptable in the eyes of LGBT advocates, who often cite studies containing snowball samples of around 50 lesbian families who were measured and showed “no differences.”

    Someone gave me Dawn’s book for free, and I haven’t finished reading it. What I’ve read was incredibly disturbing, but I kept in mind how Dawn’s father was sexually, physically, and mentally brutalized as a child. Considering the horror he experienced, I’d say he came out as a fairly decent father. Dawn tries to keep her father’s hardships in mind, and acknowledges that he had a worse childhood than she did.

    Nevertheless, we must consider whether or not his behavior IS commonplace among homosexual men. I don’t even think LGBT advocates claim that homosexual men are not especially susceptible to promiscuity, have “messy” sex, etc. We know, as Dawn explains, that “committed” gay relationships mean something wholly different from what the average heterosexual thinks. So does a child of a “committed” gay couple risk experiencing what Dawn’s brother did? (Stumbling upon his dad having sex with about twelve men in a room)

    In short, I’d like to see people refute Dawn’s claim that her father’s behavior is shown to be empirically generalizable to gay men. We know that Zach Wahls’s family—a planned one resulting from in-vitro—is NOT representative of lesbian families. Furthermore, his testimony is a subjective one about his own upbringing. Although Dawn’s testimony is the same (subjective and about her own upbringing), I actually think it is more compelling because she tells what she saw and experienced. Zack mostly notes that he is in school, is an Eagle Scout, and has loving parents. Good, quantitative data is the best thing to have, of course, but that will take time.

    Reading Dawn’s interview above, I’m reminded that we can’t be swayed by how popular and cherished the LGBT group is today among the professional classes, in academia, in pop culture, etc. Every demand they make for their “equality,” such as unfettered access to children in need of homes, should be weighed and stayed by the prevailing state interest in giving children the best homes possible. We need to reverse adoption and child-rearing discussions from one about the “rights” of LGBT to adults, to the rights of children. And we can't be intimidated by "bigotry" charges. Adoptive and foster homes are for the service of children; not the other way around.

  12. LEO
    Posted July 21, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    You kind alway bring up Apples and Oranges comparisons when you have lossed the debate...

  13. Reformed
    Posted July 21, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    1) Do we as a society want to educate our children in the general knowledge that babies do not come from the man-woman union, but rather from money and state controlled technologies?

    Of course not. Thats where babies come from. There, you heard from a hateful rabid marriage equality advocate.

    2) And do we want to . . . deny that the man-woman united entity is unique and original; enough so that it must (in justice) be given a word to name itself in order that it might be clearly signaled out within the society?

    Well of course! "man-woman union" as you stated in #1. Or marriage if you are not hung up on specifics. I am not married to the idea that a word has to be reserved for something just because it is unique (certainly not as a matter of justice). Do you even know what justice is? Not exactly sure but I do know it when i see it, and that ain't it. A rose by any other name smells just as sweet. And I don't think children are a easy confused as you make them out to be. As Paul says above. GLBTs may be trendsetters, but far to few to undermine the common knowledge of where babies come from.

    3) Do we want to let the free market system have complete liberty to develop a commercial market around the making of babies?

    Well no. You mean like making babies in factory farms? Enough of the pulp fiction sensationalism.

    I am guessing you mean fertility clinics that will arrange for surrogates ect. Well, I am not a fan of that, I always thought it would be better to adopt.

    Question: If a same sex couple did not have a child in vitro or what have you, would that same child just remain in the que to be born into the next opening with a opposite sex couple (married or not)? Or, would that child be deprived by never coming into existence?

  14. Craig Hundelt
    Posted July 21, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Though I often find the European scene worse than U.S. on sexual deviancy, I agree with their ruling about SSM. Gay marriage is not a 'human right': European ruling torpedoes Coalition stance
    By Steve Doughty

    PUBLISHED: 17:59 EST, 20 March 2012 | UPDATED: 07:07 EST, 8 June 2012
    Same-sex marriages are not a human right, European judges have ruled.

    Their decision shreds the claim by ministers that gay marriage is a universal human right and that same-sex couples have a right to marry because their mutual commitment is just as strong as that of husbands and wives.

    The ruling was made by judges of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg following a case involving a lesbian couple in a civil partnership who complained the French courts would not allow them to adopt a child as a couple.

  15. Daughter of Eve
    Posted July 21, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    "They were just enjoying the pleasure & ignoring the consequences." But all sex outside of a marriage between a man woman fits that description. It's all degrading. There is no substitute for personal virtue.

    The author is brave & to be commended for speaking up.

  16. Daughter of Eve
    Posted July 21, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    "They were just enjoying the pleasure & ignoring the consequences." But all sex outside of a marriage between a man woman fits that description. It's all degrading. There is no substitute for personal virtue.

    The author is brave & to be commended for speaking up.

  17. Sharon
    Posted July 22, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Why do people against our work come on our site to insult and attack. Go to your sites to continue propagating your agenda and get off of ours! You are ridiculous!

  18. Greg
    Posted July 22, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    I'm confused, Sharon. You just want to hear from the Amen corner, I guess. However, debate is never ridiculous. And, yes, conservatives also post on gay sites. And are often less than civil.

    As for Dawn's account, I'm sure she's telling the truth about her own experiences and am sorry for the difficulties she's experienced, as I would be in the case of the child of any parent who led an overtly promiscuous life.

    And while I'm sure that there are still such parents out there (both straight AND gay), I would point out that her unfortunate tale has "1970s!!" written all over it. The notion that taking a child to an "adult" store could somehow be liberating seems as dated and as foolishly naive as it is outrageous--something akin to hippie parents exposing their kids to drugs in the 60s, say.

    I'm not going to say that everybody's become "square" nowadays but from the LGBT people I acutally know who are raising children, I can tell you that none of them come even close to the behaviors that Dawn's father exhibited.

    Those were different times.

  19. CJ
    Posted July 22, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Sharon, you said "agenda". Please refrain from sounding so nieve, it doesn't help your case. You should present yourself as a balanced individual who understands both sides and has come to form her own conclusions. Even though you obviously are not that, you should have people think that's how you are so they don't just laugh and walk away thinking how crazy you are.
    Just a tip. It's not lying, it's just how you present your view. You're welcome.

  20. Good News
    Posted July 22, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Yes debate can be ridiculous, and absurd.
    As for example, debating as to whether or not there is any difference between a man-woman union and a man-man union that would be worthy of clearly signaling out to our children and society.

    And the notion that encouraging growing children to think that there is no difference between a woman-woman union and a man-woman union (by teaching in kindergarten that these two things are, for all intents and purposes, the same) it order to help them to be better ajusted to life, seems as dated and foolishly naive (manipulative and dishonest) as it is outrageous.

    I'm not going to say that everybody's become “reasonable” nowadays; for the date I'm talking about is - July 2012.

    (Note: some of the above text and ideas where copied from a post by Greg.)

  21. Greg
    Posted July 22, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Good News, if you copied anything from one of my posts, it's barely recognizable. Should I be flattered. I suspect not.

    You know, I'm from a small town and grew up with all those small town fears and prejudices--and self-hatred. Now my ex-wife was born and raised in New York City and had gay neighbors in her apt. building. Her parents simply explained that there were some people of the same sex who loved each other the same way that they (her two opposite sex parents) did.

    She accepted that at a young age, grew up to be quite heterosexual, and, yes, cosmopolitan in outlook. I think it was pretty clear to her that MOST people sought and established opposite sex unions, but she learned quite young that it was not universally the case. She was none the worse off for it.

  22. Holly Franz
    Posted July 23, 2012 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    There is such a push by the media to show examples of positive gay parenting that they're neglecting these types of stories. It's time to expose all sides.

  23. aam
    Posted July 23, 2012 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    I read the interview. The problem with Stefanowicz is that she alternates from telling HER story to generalizing about all same-sex families. If she is telling the truth, then I feel for her, but it is unfair for her to generalize about other families she knows nothing about.

  24. Good News
    Posted July 23, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink


    What she learned. From family, neighbors kindergarten teachers, books and television was that marriage was between a man and a woman. And that babies came from the man-woman union. The children of today will be taught something very different.

    Having had the chance to have been raised in that environment, she was encouraged, in clarity and confidence, toward what she instinctively wanted – to be a biological mother to her children. Which entailed having a husband if she had a heart to be a complete mother to her child, wanting to give the child his own father.)
    The commercial world will be working very hard to make things much less clear for the growing children of the future.

    How one feels about sexuality and sexual preferences is very secondary and beside the point. And her example shows that such a drastic change as is being forced onto the people in our civilization is not needed to educate people into attitudes of respect and acceptance.
    What is happening today has nothing to do with a simple goal of encouraging acceptance and respect of “homosexuals”. It has to do with economic possibilities in the market of sex, and more so with the new economically profitable technologies in baby making. Just need to develop a customer base to have the market explode; and confuse a lot of young girls in what direction they want to go in...

    Ones sexual preferences and tastes can be malleable and manipulated when young and growing up. I am talking here about 80 to 97 percent of the children who were not born th

  25. Greg
    Posted July 23, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    GN, it's one thing to put scare quotes around phrases like "gay marriage," but certainly to be expected from NOMers. I understand that you believe--and more importantly, want everyone else to believe that such marriages are "counterfeit." But you actually take the cake putting those scare quotes around the word "homosexual[s]."

    Your conspiracy theory is an interesting fantasy, but a fantasy nonetheless. And a paranoid one at that.

  26. Good News
    Posted July 23, 2012 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    "homosexual", homosexual, "heterosexual", heterosexual, “Good News”, Bad News, “Greg”, Greg. Don't read so much into it. We're doing the best we can with “blog-post-communication”.
    But something does seem very clear, that we do disagree on how our language and society should use the word “marriage”... what do you think... "Yes", yes, "no", no?

  27. Eddie
    Posted July 23, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Did this woman get an education, grow up with a roof over her head, food, clothing, love, and the ability to have friends and enjoy her childhood? I don't think she was raised as bad as she would like to make it out to be. She had a person who raised her and taught her the REAL world and not some made up version from people who hide their head in the sand. I think she got a good dose or reality and it made her a lot stronger than those wimpy "christian" family kids. Dawn should be lucky that someone raised her and loved her and she didn't fall into the system and go from home to home. That is a good man that raised her. He didn't let people molest her and she wasn't forced into some cult. Dawn, get over yourself and thank that man that raised you!